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Integrated Science: Florida Manatees and Everglades Hydrology

March 11, 2009

Predicting and monitoring restoration effects on Florida manatees, which are known to make extended movements, will be incomplete if modeling and monitoring are limited to the smaller areas defined by the various res-toration components. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) efforts, thus far, have focused on (1) collecting manatee movement data throughout the Ten Thousand Islands (TTI) region, and (2) developing an individual-based model for manatees to illustrate manatee responses to changes in hydrology related to the Picayune Strand Restoration Project (PSRP).

In 2006, new regional research was begun to extend an Everglades hydrology model into the TTI region; extend the manatee movement model into the southern estuaries of Everglades National Park (ENP); and integrate hydrology and manatee data, models, and monitoring across the TTI region and ENP. Currently (2008), three research tasks are underway to develop the necessary modeling components to assess restoration efforts across the Greater Everglades Ecosystem.